Thune v. Rounds.
Which side are you on?

That was about as lurid a headline as I could make it. But it does look like the Republican Governor and the Republican US Senator are lining up on different sides of an issue - who is the best man to lead America into the next presidential term?

Senator Thune recently announced that he was supporting US Senator John McCain for President. And (yesterday or today) Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas announced that he had lined up South Dakota's own Governor M. Michael Rounds, placing these two South Dakota Republican political Juggernauts on opposite sides.

If you look at it, both are courting candidates similarly. They're each going with someone in their peer group. Thune with a fellow US Senator, and Rounds with a fellow Republican Governor.

Ultimately, this is setting the stage for a showdown, with the winner gaining bragging rights, leadership of the delegation at the National Republican Convention in Minneapolis, and if the stars align correctly, potential preference for a plethora of opportunities at the federal level.

Yes, I know that given our later primary, the odds are such that an intense battle will not occur. Only if Republicans are split nationally and it goes to convention could it get really interesting. The most likely scenario is that one of the two preferences expressed by our heavyweights will have long dropped from the race by then.

Actually, it's kind of 'cool' to contemplate that the SDGOP's big guns are going to go head to head in a friendly contest such as this, allowing us to see some spirited competition. Because each is likely to serve as their respective campaign's surrogates in South Dakota, standing as the heads of the South Dakota organizations. They (as in the campaigns) will each have their own staff members who will be vying for the hearts and minds of Republicans.

So Senator. Governor. Please come out of your respective corners, and shake hands. No hitting below the belt, but otherwise, anything goes... Now let's get it on!


Anonymous said…
Huckabee's going nowhere. A Thune endorsement is a much bigger deal than one from Rounds. Rounds probably just endorsed Huckabee because of the National Governors Conference or something. Anyway, I predict that Huckabee will be out before long and Rounds will have to find somebody else to endorse. I personally am disappointed that Thune endorsed so early, because in my opinion, Rudy G. (liberal or not) is the only change the GOP has of winning in 08.
lexrex said…
mccain? voted against tax cuts. sold out to line up w/ 13 others to form gang of 14 on judicial nominations. against marriage amendment. and worst of all: campaign finance reform.

bad choice.

huckabee? says he's a conservative, depending on the crowd to which he speaks. not much of chance.

2 early, bad choices by thune and rounds.
Anonymous said…
It's not surprising that both Thune and Rounds have missed the boat, what's new?

Huckabee is the real surprise. He is an empty suit partisan hack, but thats where Rounds is headed anyway.

South Dakota conservatives may struggle mightily to accept Rudy G., but that's the way it is going to happen.
Anonymous said…
Marriage is a state's rights issue. The Federal Marriage Amendment is a bad idea that tramples on state's rights. I guess lexrex is about as consistent as PP when it comes to his ideology.
Anonymous said…
Sorry pp, but I'll make my own selection for prez. in the primary. It won't be either of these guys.
Anonymous said…
Huckabee is actually a smart man with an impressive record as governor. McCain is obviously a strong presence.

Both of these endorsements make sense - McCain has been courting Thune for a while, and Rounds has become a friend of Huckabee's through NGA.

I really don't think there is a lot more to say about this. In the end, these endorsements don't matter much - especially since our primary won't be until three months after the nominees are determined.
Anonymous said…
6:36 you are right! You can tell these two have terrible political advisors.

The only chance Rs have in 08 is Hillary or Obama, if the Ds wake up and vote in a good person the Rs will watch from the sideline.
Anonymous said…
Ron Schmidt offered my campaign a $5,000.00 contribution from McCains pac if I endorsed him for president during my run for congress. I guess the only way Ron would help my campaign is if I endorsed his candidate.

My pick is Senator Brownback. However Newt might rise as the national pick.

The Dems will implode in time for a Republican victory.
Anonymous said…
Ron Schmidt is trying to bribe endorsements for McCain. Well, I guess that takes McCain off of my radar screen.

Schmidt hasn't done anything to help any republican but himself since he's been national committeement for the south dakota republican party. During the last campaign, he spent more time helping a democrat than he did in helping any of republicans he has a duty to assist. Plus, has Schmidt ever won a race for anything other than national committeeman, which he owes to Barnett and the others who endorsed him at the time?

McCain made a mistake in having Schmidt do anything for his campaign and will not have my vote.

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